The TSA wants to know your birthday and if you are a boy or a girl, says USAToday. Apparently, they’ve been tagging too many of our fine citizens are terrorists and need more information in order to help with their “background checks.”
The airlines and, well, pretty much everyone else, thinks this is an invasion of privacy and that the TSA has enough to worry about without keeping track of everyone’s birthday.
The Air Transport Association, a trade group of major U.S. airlines, the American Society of Travel Agents and Continental and Virgin airlines also opposed, in writing, the TSA asking for travelers’ birth dates and genders. Opposition is not as strong for soliciting full names.
TSA is seeking more personal information as part of a long-delayed plan to improve preflight background checks of the 700 million people who fly commercially each year in the USA.
The plan centers on transferring the task of checking passenger backgrounds from airlines to the TSA. The transfer is required by a law enacted in 2004 and was urged by the 9/11 Commission that year.
The commission said the TSA can do a better job because it can check passengers against the complete government terrorist watch lists instead of partial lists used by airlines. The TSA expects to take over background checks next year, though many airlines said the agency’s plans don’t give them enough time to change their reservation systems and enable the switch.
Under a TSA proposal published in August, airlines and travel agents would be required to ask people reserving flights for their birth date, gender and full name. Travelers, however, would not be required to give the new information.
People who don’t comply could be more easily mistaken for a terrorist and “may be more likely to experience delays, be subjected to additional screening (or) be denied transport,” the TSA wrote.
Oh yes, we do like the direction this is headed.